Monday, February 13, 2012

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Do you own a Little Black Dress? According to any fashion guide, a LBD is one of those essential clothing items that should be hanging in every woman's closet. But in reality, a perfect LBD is a Holy Grail of fashion. Smitten with the vision of the Ideal One I am on a perpetual quest to locate it.

Of course, at any point in my life I had some black dress hanging in my closet, but it was never The One. OK, I used to have this vintage cotton lace shift number when I was in college, that was quite perfect, but it was a size 2 and it has been a long time since I could fit into it. I don't know what happened to it btw, I am pretty ruthless with my clothes. Then, in my no-nonsense-years, I had this awful, no-style, polyester, a-line dress that I would wear to every party, my 'good enough' black dress. Later, I tried various funeral style dresses that were too somber, bridesmaid variety dresses that were uncomfortable and ugly, suiting dresses (hello Emmaleigh and Olive beauties) that were great but too business-like, black sequin dresses that were too festive, strapless and backless dresses that never worked for me, ruffles-down-the-front silk dresses that were too trendy, lace dresses that were too short, full skirt dresses that were too skip-to-my-lou girlish, soft jersey dresses that were too beach-vacation-only and many others that were just plain wrong on me.

What I am looking for in a LDB? I would say good fit, comfort, quality, versatility and reasonable price. My latest attempt at finding this elusive wear-it-everywhere-anytime garment is this boat neck, elbow sleeved dress from Talbots, in black pointe jersey. It is quite close fit in my smaller dress size, I would not size down. The fabric is rather substantial and it does not have much give. I hope this means it will keep its shape. I like the simple cut of this dress, the boat neck neckline, the sleeve length and hemline. I could wear it to the office the way I styled it in the picture below but I have worn it with black patent heels, pearls and leopard clutch for an anniversary dinner with hubby.

Talbots boat-neck dress, size 6

In the end, I still don't think it is THE dress, but I think it is pretty close.

The reasons I like it:

  • The fit is quite flattering, pencil skirt shape usually works the best for me
  • It can be dressed up or down and change the look with accessories and shoes
  • It can be worn with regular bra
  • It can be winterized with a cardigan or blazer
  • It can be worn year round, except for some very hot days in the summer
  • The fabric is substantial enough to hide some bumps
  • I like the neckline
  • I like the length
  • It is plain with no embellishments therefore not memorable
  • It was very cheap, I bought it on major sale for about $38
The reasons why it is not The One:
  • comfort: the fabric is a little clingy so it requires a slip when wearing tights
  • quality: I am worried that the color will fade and turn rag-like after few washes (but I don't know this)
  • versatility: it does not layer as well as a sleeveless dress

Or maybe I just like to be on the quest and do not really want to stop? This way, the best is still to come.

Do you own a LBD? Or do you think they are a genus of mythical creatures, the unicorn dress equivalent? Are you searching for one perfect dress that can serve you in any circumstances or are you OK with just having several for different occasions?



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